How can organizations and communities develop happy, productive employees? By starting with the next generation and empowering young people to learn essential skills, mindsets, and behaviors they’ll need to become successful adults.

At Curate Partners, we believe in granting the opportunity for students to learn these types of skills early. We believe that businesses play a valuable part in developing professional skills in partnership with schools— and as part of our community programming, we partnered with Dress for Success to deliver a workshop to local students.

Workshop with Dress for Success

In May 2021, we partnered with Empower by Dress for Success to team up with two local schools in the Greater Boston Area to create a confidence-building, professional development program for local students. Together with several local organizations, we conducted an online, daylong learning workshop for an audience of middle- and high-school students. Our goal? To help students discover the career possibilities of IT and digital innovation, as well as teach some of the basic skills they’ll need to prepare for their future careers.

The workshop, led by Curate Partners employees, covered a wide range of topics and skills, including: how to build confidence at work; believing in yourself and the value of your contributions professionally; exploring the different types of roles within IT; understanding the day-to-day of the industry; how to get into the field; dressing professionally for digital and in-person interviews; building a great LinkedIn profile; and lots more. Curate Partners employees Natasha Thomas (Diversity Business Partner), Mike Correia (Recruiting Consultant), Jess Rousseau (Marketing Manager), Cathy Panah (Account Executive), Taylor Shea (Account Executive), and Johnny Cail (Recruiting Consultant) all participated.

Beyond work experience, we also shared stories and valuable life skills for becoming a successful adult, both in and out of work. We co-presented with Budget Buddies to lead a workshop on budgeting and why it’s critical for students to learn how to manage the money they’ll eventually earn, as well as the importance of savings, planning and managing income.

And, not least, we discussed networking: what it is and is not, why it’s critical to keep in contact with professional contacts, how to ask questions, how to optimize their LinkedIn profile and utilize its tools and functionalities to be one step ahead of the competition; and how to reach out to people for feedback and advice at every stage in a career. After all, many great minds don’t have a built-in network—but the earlier students learn to develop those communication skills, the more successful they will be!

Above all, we wanted the students to know that at every point in their life, there’s a professional that’s willing to lend a helping hand; no student is alone in navigating the journey towards becoming a productive adult.

Why it matters

As an organization, we passionately believe in our ability to give back. Empowering students with this information will help their eventual careers; but this type of education also develops a future pool of prepared, professional, and diverse talent. When we reach out to students and younger community members, we can help them discover where they want to go, equip them with connections and practical education, and help them identify paths to pursue in the future.

We’re committed to supporting the next generation through community development programs and partnerships like this one. And as an organization, we believe in the value of “learn, earn and return”: our employees have put in the time, grit, and passion to get where they are. Now, they can earnestly give back.

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Initiation, Strategic Vision & CX - HCD